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Schools issue admissions halt threat

Posted December. 16, 2005 08:34,   


Korea Private School Foundation Association (KPSFA) branches in Seoul, Daegu, and Ulsan resolved yesterday to stop admitting students for academic high schools in 2006, and not to accept government subsidies for school management, in an attempt to protest against the newly revised private school law.

Because the new high school student selection process for 2006 starts next week, and because private schools account for roughly half of all schools, the high school admissions process will suffer major disruptions if the private schools actually push ahead with their resolution.

The KPSFA’s Seoul branch held an emergency board meeting with some 30 participants at its office in Yeoido dong, Seoul, and announced that the revised private school law is an attempt to suffocate private schools as it contains harmful clauses that infringe on their autonomy and basic rights.

While refusing financial support from the government, the Seoul branch of the KPSFA decided to demand the lifting of the tuition fee cap on private schools.

On the same day, the KPSFA’s Daegu branch held an emergency general meeting at Gyeongsang High School in Daegu and agreed to “refuse admission of new students and to close down schools in a lawful and just manner, and to campaign to restore the right to select students and to set tuition fees, which are basic rights of private schools.”

“Along with the campaign against the private school law, we will ask for compensation from the government for making it impossible to achieve the founding goals of our schools,” added the Daegu branch of KPSFA.

In response, education offices of Seoul and Daegu have decided that if the private schools actually refuse to accept new students, legal action, such as dismissing headmasters, dissolving boards of directors and appointing temporary directors to the schools, will be taken.

Meanwhile, the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), the biggest association of Protestant churches in Korea, held an emergency executive meeting at the international conference hall in the KLI 63 building in Yeoido, Seoul, and resolved to organize a public campaign headquarters for the protection of private schools.

They argued that if the law comes into effect, private schools will be unable to pursue curriculums according to their founding philosophies, and said it will hold a meeting with KPSFA officials and representatives of seven major religions, including Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Won Buddhism (a Korean school of Buddhism) to discuss the formation of a campaign headquarters. After organizing the campaign headquarters, the CCK said it will file a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court on the revised private school law and run a disobedience campaign.

Seong-Ju Lee stein33@donga.com jkyoon@donga.com